Dawn Farrell to head Trans Mountain
Trans Mountain Corporation has named the former head of TransAlta Corp. as its new chief executive officer.
As of Aug. 15, Dawn Farrell will become president and chief executive, and be added to the board of directors at Trans Mountain.
Farrell has more than 35 years of experience in the energy industry and, notably, most recently oversaw TransAlta’s efforts to reduce its carbon emissions while at the helm of the company.
“We are confident that her broad-based knowledge, experience, and her background with governments and Indigenous communities will be a tremendous asset to Trans Mountain as it completes the expansion project and navigates the next stages of the company’s future,” William Downe, chairman of Trans Mountain’s board, said in a press release Wednesday.
Construction of the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline has veered off track over the past year, with the cost of the project nearly doubling and the timeline for completion pushed to the third quarter of 2023.
The company’s updated estimate for the total cost to build the taxpayer-owned pipeline is currently pegged at $21.4 billion, up significantly from its previous estimate of $12.6 billion.
Trans Mountain had attributed some of the ballooning costs to issues such as prior floods in B.C. and permitting challenges.
In mid-February, the federal government said it was halting funding for the project and reiterated its plans to eventually sell the pipeline to the private sector.
While Trans Mountain and the federal government have touted the pipeline as still being economically viable, the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) has warned the federal government, and ultimately taxpayers, could lose money on the sale of the pipeline.
In a June report, the budget watchdog said the net present value suggests a loss of $600 million. In December, the PBO said the feds’ investment in the project was still profitable.